Ya know that 1 hour fast we're supposed to participate in before we receive? I always thought it was to clear our bodies of frivolous food so we could better accept the True Food of the Eucharist.
Fr. Eucharist's explanation was WAY more enlightening.
He gave us a brief history of the Eucharistic fast. I was already aware that there was a time in which you couldn't have even a drop of water past midnight in order to adequately prepare yourself to receive Christ. Then it was lessened to three hours, and now we're sitting at one. What I DIDN'T know, however, was that the fast was actually meant to make the faithful hungry.
Mother Church WANTS us to go to Mass hungry. She wants us to feel a physical emptiness... a physical hunger for sustenance.
Why, Father Eucharist?
To remind us that we should be hungering for Christ, of course!
Being humans, we sometimes need something physical with which to remind ourselves of the spiritual. A fast does this in several key ways.
First, we gain that physical hunger which should remind us to always hunger after Christ. Next, it should remind us of our brothers and sisters who daily face physical hunger on account of poverty, neglect or famine. After all, we are all connected, and sharing in the physical manifestation of hunger is a way to develop empathy (and through that empathy, activism) for our spiritual family (meaning all humans since we are all children of God).
Finally, this fast does serve to clear our bodies (and hopefully, our minds) of the frivolous junk we tend to ingest on a daily basis. Much like we would do a quick clean of the house before a friend arrived, we use the time of fasting to clear ourselves of unnecessary "junk" to make room for God.
I really appreciated that insight as it's something I never really thought much about.